The issue of healthcare has been a thorn in the back of American taxpayers for a long time. The United States spends a staggering $10,348 per person on healthcare, amounting to about 18% of its GDP. This is far more than any other country on the planet. In fact, it is 8 percentage points clear of the average of the industrialized members of the Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development. The good news Read More
5 Signs of Nursing Home Abuse
Placing a parent or other loved one into a nursing home is a difficult decision for many reasons. Once you do it, however, it is supposed to be a relief because you should be able to be confident that they will be getting the best possible care based on their specific needs. Sadly, some nursing homes don’t provide the level of care that is needed, or can outright neglect or abuse their residents. To help protect your Read More
A Brief Q&A on the Maryland Probate Process
The Maryland probate process involves proving that a deceased person’s will is valid and administering property or debts in accordance with the valid will. Depending on the amount of property or debt, the probate process can be complicated. The following information will help you work toward understanding the Maryland probate process. What is a will? A will is a legal document that is signed by the decedent in Read More
Long Term Health Care – the Costs Just Might Kill You!
You simply can not afford to grow old in Maryland - not with what it costs for long term health care i.e. assisted living or nursing home care. That is unless you do a heck of a lot of financial planning now, hit the lottery, or work until you die. One is not desirable, one is not likely, and one seems difficult. But you have to do it because nobody else is and the crisis is getting worse. Every year Genworth Read More
Will Maryland’s Inheritance Tax Force You to Relocate?
Only two states - Maryland and New Jersey - impose an inheritance tax as well as an estate tax on top of the Federal estate tax. Many states are eliminating or have eliminated death taxes altogether. But only these two impose both additional state level death taxes on top of the federal tax. Recently, Maryland signed into law legislation that gradually brings the state estate tax in line with the federal tax. Read More
Long Term Healthcare Insurance – Solution or Dead End?
In my estate planning seminars I often tell potential clients that an important consideration for their long term healthcare is to purchase as much insurance as they can afford as early as they are able to do so. Recent events have caused me to question whether or not that remains true. More and more insurance companies are deciding not to offer long term healthcare insurance (LTHI) because it is not a profitable Read More
Don’t Look a Gift Horse in the Mouth
What are the estate planning implications of gifting property or money to your heirs? I often get this question during the seminars I give regarding estate planning and Medicaid eligibility. People want to know what happens if I give my heirs some money now? How does that effect my estate? How is it taxed? And is it a good idea? And what is the origin of that silly phrase “Don’t look a gift horse in the Read More
Dead Men Tell No Lies – Nor Where Everything is Located
Joyce Wadler, a brilliant humorist who writes the “I Was Misinformed” column for the New York Times, recently penned an essay titled “The Sex Toys in the Attic” in which she suggests that in addition to designating someone to make medical decisions for you if you are incapacitated, we should also identify an “Eradicator” to come into our home after we die and remove all of the embarrassing items less they be found by Read More